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Rest Stop on the Way Down

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This is my answer to everything
This is my answer to everything
None are made before their time
Now you know this could never be justified
Now you know I could never be satisfied
Now you know you can't love me if I hide
Now you know that this little child is terrified

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It's not easy. This being alive thing. She doesn't know how
she came to be here. Supposes that's how it's like for most
people who get to this point. When they are so strung out on
life, on drugs, on themselves. It just eats away at the core, this
empty feeling. She guesses it's the way it's supposed to be.
At some age, after certain events, one just feels....used up.
Not right. Eschewed.

She snorts, blows another puff of
smoke out the car window and giggles to herself. "Gotta stop
taking those psych courses. Damned if you're not making
any sense, Bit." She talks to herself nowadays, imagining
what he would say to her. Trying to see that old familiar grin,
blue eyes twinkling with hidden understanding. A look for
her alone. And yeah, she gets choked up. She'll admit it. But
it's these things that keep her going. It's what got her out of
SunnyDale the first day after high school graduation. She
packed her bags, left a note for Buffy, got in her car and left.
Just went. Anywhere is fine, she told herself. Just as long as
it wasn't there. She didn't even bring a road map.

Because as
much as she'd like to deny it, she knows where her
destination lies, where the journey goes. "Where the fucking
sidewalk ends." She mutters this to herself, flicking the
burned-down clove out of the tinted car window. There were
two bad habits that she picked up a few months ago. Cussing
and smoking. She didn't know why she did either. Smoking
made her feel a bit like shit, but she wanted to feel that way.
She didn't think it was right if not. And curse words were just
that: words. Simple. She's been on the road for three
months now and she knows she's closing in.

On *him*.

The few tips she acquired from a local Behavrin demon have led
her down a lonely stretch of highway in the backwaters of
some small town in some small state. Her sense of direction
is so screwed, she could be in Africa for all she knows.
However, she feels his pull. The unmistakable urge that grips
her, inching her along the country, whispering his name in
her ear. She glances at the speedometer while changing the
radio station and sees that she's nearing 90. The rising sun
lingers on the horizon and fear seizes her heart. She has to
get to him before it does. They told her that he had been
muttering about ending it. That he would stand outside and
face the sun. Let himself be consumed by the fire.

And for whatever reason, the same reason why she has spent the
whole summer tracking him down, she would risk her own
soul to see that that does not happen.

She drives faster towards the small motel that is only a dot in
the distance. Pressing her foot on the accelerator, she
whispers a small prayer. "Can't be late. Can't be late. Can't be
late." She echoes in a slightly deranged tone, sounding like a
jacked-up White Rabbit. The sun rises higher and sets all her
nerve endings aflame. Hope almost gone, her heart leaps into her throat
as she recognises the figure kneeling on the dusty hardpan.
Spike. She comes close, almost clipping the "Vacancy" sign
as she brakes hard, scattering miniature clouds in her wake.
He is still far away, but near enough, and she can clearly
make out every expression on his face. Every movement is
like a plea and she hesitates for the briefest of moments, not
sure if this is the same man she has come to save. He
gesticulates on the ground, crying, yelling out to the heavens
and awaiting the sun's first kiss.

"What do you mean.....You're the Utmost? You're the
Highest? I don't need you! It's not- I can bloody well do
without this! SHUT UP! Just shut up and take me! Please?"
His voice is raw and tempered with the slightest bit of
insanity.

She is almost afraid to go to him, make her presence known.
But the creeping light erases all doubt and spurs her into
action. She runs out of the dilapidated car, long brown hair
fluttering behind in a partially tangled mess, stopping his
almost-sacrifice with a hug and a tug and the whisper of,
"You can't leave me now."

He is stunned into silence by this vision and he utters,
"Dawn. But I didn't kill you. Never would-" He looks at her
and she is struck with the thought that he has been crying.
Red-rimmed eyes and broken posturing are all he is now.
She wants to cry herself, seeing him so small in her arms.
She stands and he trepidatiously takes the hand that she
offers.

"We need to leave. We need to go." She cannot help but
shudder as she grips his near emaciated arm to help him
rise.

"Will you make it better? Are we going home? Don't wanna
be there. Say we're not." He sounds like a child when he asks
this. No more the man she once knew from her younger
years.

Dawn situates her old friend (crush. killer. nemesis) into the
passenger seat and stares towards the now illuminated
morning sky. She never planned her search this far, hope
being a long-forgotten dream. She shrugs noncommitally
and walks around to her side of the car, lighting up another
clove as she does so. She doesn't want to go anywhere,
really. Just wants to hole up and find out the truth. No matter
how ugly. She figures she can take it. Has the scars to prove
she's been through much worse and survived. And that's all
they have to do right now. Survive.